What You Should Worry About When You’re 24

It’s only been two years since I was 24.

Me at 24.

It’s far too soon for us to know if I’m even qualified to give advice, so I just want to highlight some differences I’ve noticed between me and others.

What most 24-year olds worry about:

  • How often they can hit snooze again.
  • What to have for breakfast.
  • What to wear.
  • Which classes they can skip.
  • Which exams they can postpone to the next semester.
  • What to have for lunch.
  • How few hours of work their conscience will let them get away with.
  • Which classes will look best on their resumé.
  • Which internships will look best on their resumé.
  • What tool, gadget, gimmick or piece of decor to buy next.
  • How much vacation they can squeeze into the next 3 months.
  • What to have for dinner.
  • What to watch on Netflix.
  • Who to watch Netflix with.
  • Whether they’ve hooked up with enough people, especially compared to their friends.
  • How they can hook up with more people, especially compared to their friends.
  • Where to go on Thursday night.
  • Where to go on Friday night.
  • Where to go on Saturday night.
  • How much they can drink before work might get weird tomorrow.
  • Which job will pay the most.
  • Which job will look the best.
  • Which job their parents will like the best.
  • Why life is so hard.

What I worry about:

  • What can I do today that will make every tomorrow easier.
  • What kind of work doesn’t feel like work.
  • How can I distribute my classes the best way over two years to have the most time to do work that doesn’t feel like work.
  • Which projects will help me not need a job faster.
  • How can I build a life that lets me travel whenever I want, wherever I want.
  • Who might be wife material.
  • Whether I’m considering too many girls as wife material.
  • Why life is so amazing.

Most 24-year olds worry about stupid short-term shit that they won’t even remember two weeks from now, let alone when they’re 30. Or 40.

They don’t make decisions. They let everyone else do it for them. Their friends, their parents, their peers, their advisors, their bosses and future bosses.

That’s a recipe for a really long list of regrets.

I try to only worry about the stuff I would worry about if I was 30 right now. Or 40.

I make my own decisions. And I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks about them.

So far it’s kept me sane, out of trouble and, surprisingly, happier than most of the 24-year olds I know.

But maybe, that’s not so surprising after all.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” ~Mark Twain

I write more here. This first appeared on Quora.